Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lighthouse Dreams

After our visit to Cedar Island Lighthouse I was inspired to create a book on the ZNO photo book site. I had used it before for Hugh's book. Sadly, they have discontinued the board book format, which I liked, but I ordered 10 copies of a soft cover version and hoped for the best.
The books arrived. Upon turning open the front cover there was a blank white page. This looked weird. The space needed something. The paper was grainy kind of like watercolor paper.... Oh, hello ~ a perfect place for a watercolor sketch.
During our recent American Beautify cruise I had my first view of the lighthouse from the water. The harbor view helped me better appreciate the sketch that Tooker did of the lighthouse which was my watercolor sketch inspiration. 
Cedar Lighthouse, 1869 drawing by William Wallace Tooker
collection of Nancy Carlson
Long Island Historical Journal, Vol. 19, Nos. 1-2, pp. 143
William Wallace Tooker sketched the new lighthouse being built on Cedar Island from Cedar Point in 1869 nearly 70 years before the hurricane that would force sand into a bar that would fill in the 200 yard gap between Cedar Island and the mainland. 
1904 map of Shelter Island and Sag Harbor via
I was recently chatting with a third generation Sag Harbor resident about visiting the lighthouse at Cedar Point. I mentioned that it was a shame that vandals had burned the interior of the light house, he said,"That's what they say," with raised eyebrows, he then said,"Locals don't go there." I asked why. His response, "Thousands died in the hurricane of '38. The water came up to the roof of the lighthouse. A huge wave built a sand bar out to the lighthouse from the mainland in less than an hour. The place is haunted." I looked at the story teller with raised brows. He continued, " I didn't really believe it, until I heard that visitors at the Cedar Point camp ground were seeing weird lights around the lighthouse. They say that if you see lights in the lighthouse window, three days later you will die. I know they are trying to restore it, but no local will work there. It IS haunted."
Haunted lighthouse? Wow! When I told Hugh the story, he said, "What ELSE would campers talk about? Ghost stories around the camp fire!" I did have to laugh. The next thing I did was look for information on the 1938 hurricane. Mary Cummings, a curator at the Southampton Historical Society has written a book, "Hurricane in the Hamptons, 1938". I picked it up at Harbor Books in Sag Harbor.

The hurricane of 1938 hit in September, Fifty two souls were lost, mostly residents of West Hampton. West Hampton and Montauk suffered the worst. The Cedar Island Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1934. There was no lighthouse keeper there during the hurricane. 
The fire that forced them to close up the lighthouse? According to the U.S. Lighthouse site, Suffolk county was trying to secure the site in June of 1974 by welding plates onto the doors and windows. A  spark from the welders torch started a fire and due to the isolated location fire department help arrived too late to save the interior of the building and the roof. Afterwards the sad discovery was made that no one at the county insured the property. Boarded up since 1974 it is no wonder that the lighthouse has been the subject of local ghost stories.
At the end of Long Wharf in Sag Harbor there is a coin operated set of binoculars.
For 25 cents you can get a look at Cedar Island Lighthouse without leaving shore.
I put my phone up to one of the eye rests.

Fundraising for the lighthouse restoration is ongoing. New York State recently awarded the project $300 thousand towards an expected $2 million completion cost. Once the lighthouse is restored it is expected to house a bed and breakfast. Income from this would pay for its maintenance. Wouldn't this be a cool place to go on retreat with swimsuit, paints and easel? The Execution Rocks lighthouse in Long Island Sound near Sands Point was renovated as a bed and breakfast and is available here, This renovation gives you an idea how Cedar Point Light night turn out. The Execution Rocks lighthouse is reputed to be haunted and was featured in an episode of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Chanel. 
I haven't read A Light Between Oceans yet by M. L. Stedman, but I think I will need to. The trailer for the new movie coming out with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander looks very good.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Beachy Keen

Even with clouds, a day at Flying Point beach is spectacular.
In fact, I think the clouds make it look even more spectacular. Its as though they add depth to the sky.
The water is refreshing rather than chilling.
I love the various beach umbrellas. Ours are blue, of course.
I thought about painting one umbrella red for contrast, but no.... still experimenting with water color. 
Hugh was dashing off little portraits in his sketchbook. I think he is getting quite good at them.
Sketchbook page by Hugh Gallagher
The surf was fairly flat, only the boogie boarders and body surfers were catching waves. Our surfboards have been seriously neglected this summer. I think we may have to turn them into art.
In Sag Harbor, SURFARI is closed.
I have never seen them open.
Gone surfing, I guess.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Farm Stand Love

Serene Green and North Sea Farms are two of the many beautiful farm stands that I am spoiled by and fortunate to have in the Hamptons. The petite Serene Green never fails to wow with its gorgeous display of seasonal flowers in buckets out front. It is also the best place to get fresh seafood in Sag Harbor.  My sweet niece came for a visit recently and the first place we visited on Saturday morning was North Sea Farms. She was charmed by the immediate greeting of a resident barn cat and soon learned that sticking a bare finger into the chicken pen would result in a non-injurious peck. We picked up fresh eggs for the next day's breakfast and vegetables for supper. In a neighborhood known for high stakes real estate investing, I am so lucky that I can still buy locally grown food. Thank you farmers!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

American Beauty Cruise

I can't tell you how many times Hugh and I passed the American Beauty Cruise sign at Long Wharf with Hugh saying, "We should do this." This week, we finally did. It was wonderful being a tourist at home cruising around Sag Harbor. Beautiful scenery, calm water and a nice breeze. No dramamine needed! A chance to walk along the pier and get a closer look at the boats was an added bonus.
Does this mean that you had better have sailed your dinghy back to your boat and gotten tucked in before nightfall?
If you don't have a dingy, just take the water taxi.
We took the 90 minute harbor cruise, I would definitely go back for the sunset cruise. Highly recommended for history and nature buffs, seafaring folk and land lubbers like me.
Salty Dog
The Sag Harbor breakwater, according to our first mate, built with granite excavated from the NYC subway system.

We sailed within sight of Cedar Point Lighthouse and then came back along Shelter Island.
On board, plenty of shade and unobstructed viewing.
We sailed past Jimmy Buffet's residence where "Parrot Heads" are known to jump off the tour boat and swim to shore. Orange wind sock, but no sea plane. Mr. Buffet is not at home.
Long Wharf